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APY Land Management delegates attend the World Parks Congress Print E-mail

November 2014

In November 2014, four APY delegates attended the World Parks Congress in Sydney. Tingila Young, Winima Ken, Brent Lores and Jen Grindrod from APY’s Land Management team attended the once-in-ten-years Congress with the support of the Australian Government.

The Congress was an excellent opportunity for the delegates to meet and listen to others working in park management from around the world. APY Land Management currently manages five declared Indigenous Protected Areas, which contribute to Australia’s National Reserve System. Tingila Young and Winima Ken are both Traditional Owners, steering committee members and active participants in the Apara Makiri Punti Indigenous Protected Area.

As part of a Congress side event, “Looking After Desert Country” Tingila and Winima both presented aspects of their recent work in Pitjantjatjara. Their presentation included their major project to fence and regenerate the Apara Springs, a culturally and environmentally significant site in the north of the IPA, and a recent collaborate field trip with the Amata School, where senior students learnt cultural and biodiversity aspects to Land Management work and were lucky enough to find an Itjaritjari (Southern Marsupial Mole) during an animal tracking exercise. As they live underground, these rare and reclusive animals are almost never seen. Jen Grindrod presented an overview of Land Management’s extensive program while Brent Lores presented recent patch burning and threatened species work undertaken in the Antara Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area.

The conference gave the APY delegates the opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues, both from nearby, and far away. Notably they met with the great-grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, Luvuyo Mandela, with whom they discussed their similarities through both being first peoples of their nations. They learnt about techniques that they can take back to their work in the APY Lands, and were gratified to be reminded that much of the work being undertaken by APY is impressive on the world stage. The conference was also an opportunity to explore Sydney and learn about a very different part of Australia.

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